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A Federal Judge with some sense

Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
US District Court Judge William Young made the following statement in sentencing "shoe bomber" Richard Reid to prison.

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young: Mr.Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.
On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General.
On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20
years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutive with the other. That's 80 years.
On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30
years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the aggregate fine of $2 million.
The Court accepts the government's recommendation with
respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.
The Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.
The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.
This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence. Let me explain this to you.
We are not afraid of any of your terrorist coconspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here. And I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.

Here in this court, where we deal with individuals as individuals, and care for individuals as individuals, as human beings we reach out for justice, you are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.
So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal, guilty of multiple attempted murders.
In a very real sense, Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said you're no big deal. You're no big deal.
What your counsel, what your able counsel and what the
equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you. But as I search this entire record it comes as close to understanding as I know. It seems to me you hate the one thing that is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, and to believe or not believe as we individually choose.

Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their, their representation of you before other judges. We are about it. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though.
It is yet true that we will bear any burden, pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.
Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten. But this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.
The very President of the United States through his
officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out
evidence on which specific matters can be judged, and
juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that
evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.
See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United
States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. You know it always will.
Custody Mr. Officer. Stand him down.

[ July 15, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Morris ]

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction. - Ernst F. Schumacher
frank davis
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Originally posted by Michael Morris:
US District Court Judge William Young made the following statement in sentencing "shoe bomber" Richard Reid to prison.

[ July 15, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Morris ]

The judge was eloquent, factual, inspiring, and patriotic all in a few paragraphs. As the war on terrorism wages into the upcoming decades, I suspect his words will deservedly find their way into some textbook documenting this war.
Michael Morris
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Joined: Jan 30, 2002
Posts: 3451
Originally posted by herb slocomb:

The judge was eloquent, factual, inspiring, and patriotic all in a few paragraphs. As the war on terrorism wages into the upcoming decades, I suspect his words will deservedly find their way into some textbook documenting this war.

I agree Herb. Why has it become so wrong to believe in and aspire to the ideals that this greatest of all nations ever to grace the face of the earth was founded on? I'm 50 today and have seen a lot of changes in that time. I think it all began with Viet Nam. Yea, that was a stupid-assed war that we either should have never gotten involved in or better yet won at all cost. Our leaders have made some dumbassed decisions over the years but it doesn't change what we are: free and willing to die for liberty. I hope it doesn't take another 911 for all of us to wake up and see that we are being threatened in a way not seen since at least the war of 1812 when we were attacked by a true world power.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
I am deeply troubled by the above. Apart from the overly schmaltzy brand of trailer-park patriotism, it hints at a misinformed and deeply delusional mind.
I am curious how the authors can substantiate wild claims such as:

It is yet true that we will bear any burden, pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.

I guess that McCarthyism and more recently denying foreign nationals held at Guantanamo, from allied countries such as the UK, proper legal representation offer a shining example of the above (oh but you did say 'our' freedoms).
I realise that there are US citizens who are rational, and don�t have a belief-system based entirely on the FOX network. I can only hope that these people are in the majority and that dangerous, cretinous and right-wing-fundamentalist views like the above don�t have a part to play in the USA�s future.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by <Onlooker>:
I realise that there are US citizens who are rational, and don�t have a belief-system based entirely on the FOX network. I can only hope that these people are in the majority and that dangerous, cretinous and right-wing-fundamentalist views like the above don�t have a part to play in the USA�s future.

You might enjoy this thread.
I realise that there are UK citizens who are rational, and don�t have a belief-system based entirely on the BBC network. I can only hope that these people are in the majority and that dangerous, irrational and left-wing-marxist views like the above don�t have a part to play in the UK�s future.
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Touch�
Far from being a Marxist I would argue that some of the rhetoric about the "freedom loving democratic" US is wildly inaccurate and ironical.
A lot of past and recent US policy has supported less than democratic regimes including the one recently deposed. Moreover there is more than a small measure of doubt about the "democratic" process in the last US elections (I believe Michael Moore details the evidence as well as I've seen it anywhere).
If loathing hypocrisy makes me a Marxist then by all means call me a Marxist but I belive the summing up, quoted above, to be just that.

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Patriotism is the last resort of scoundrels - Dr. Samuel Johnson
 
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